Friday, June 10, 2011

Devices and desires

Since my last report, not quite a week ago, I have changed 162 verses in 50 psalms, updated the database, online translations, and Book 1 open source copy (twice). There is definitely a moving target.

Pursuing one word often leads to a host of changes: e.g. this week, plan, devise, understand, consider, think, scheme - they were all mixed up. There are a half-dozen Hebrew verbs and a half-dozen English ones and the mapping was quite impossible and quite unnecessary. Now it is combed out.  Perhaps not perfectly but more transparent.

Did you know God has devices (Psalm 33)?

יְהוָה הֵפִיר עֲצַת גּוֹיִם
הֵנִיא מַחְשְׁבוֹת עַמִּים
10
יְהוָה breaks the counsel of the nations
he frustrates the devices of peoples
עֲצַת יְהוָה לְעוֹלָם תַּעֲמֹד
מַחְשְׁבוֹת לִבּוֹ לְדֹר וָדֹר
11
the counsel of יְהוָה forever will stand
the devices of his heart from generation to generation
I have sorted all these out - and the result is more transparent.

Also there is a lovely hapax, a unique rare word, in Psalm 81

וְלֹא שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי
וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אָבָה לִי
12but my people did not hear my voice
and Israel did not consent to me
וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם
יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם
13so I sent them out in the stubbornness of their heart
and they walk in their own conspiracies
One ought to consent - God is good. Conspiracy was a nice find too and handled another pile of words around planning.

Overall, Psalm 51 is out the door at PoC. My drafts are up to psalm 87, but I am pushing myself too fast. Slow me down with some feedback. I am happy to hear of typos and critiques of the translations.

I have become more conservative in my English tongue in the last week, resurrecting certain useful words like repulse, expel, and chasten, as glosses. I need the variety. I removed my tendency to use 'set' in several words and have confined it to שׂום. I am happy to have a 1 to many relationship between Hebrew and English, but I am not happy to have to live with a many to one, or a many to many mapping. I have not solved the life/being/soul enigma and am tempted to use throat and throttle everywhere!

Why go to this trouble - the psalms are already translated - you can't see anything new that isn't already known - and you have already corrected thousands of errors - who would take time to teach you or help you?  Here's a good reason for reading the psalms (cited at my note on psalm 51 from St Ambrose)
...David put his mind to studying how he could repair the wrong and so shape us anew. Using his gift of heavenly Psalmody he commenced in us a form of conversion... Anyone who reads this book has the means of curing, by special remedy, the wounds of his own passions... This prophet alone among all others foretold what the Lord himself preached in the Gospel.
And I will let my own weak reasoning stand: Love. Love insinuates itself into the text and a dialogue happens. Maybe this dialogue includes not only contemporary keyboardists, not only ancient poets, but the Author of this love. This is worth expressing. And it is new. And it is not a distraction - it is not opinion, nor proof, but might include creed or theology, most importantly consent to engage with the text, and perhaps to talk with the Most High.

My target is set up - throw your darts.